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Bel Air residents demand that Mohamed Hadid demolish megamansion

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Neighbors say they live “in constant fear of the hillside collapsing”

An aerial photo of a half-finished mansion jutting out of a hillside.
The contentious property at 901 Strada Vecchia that Hadid developed.
Courtesy of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips

A massive hillside mansion in Bel Air is at the center of a firestorm yet again.

On Thursday, four residents filed a lawsuit against the mansion developer’s, Mohamed Hadid, asking the courts to compel Hadid to raze a structure that they say is illegal and unstable. They want to restore the hillside to its pre-mansion condition, and they’re asking for unspecified amount of damages, court records show.

The 30,000-square-foot mansion sits atop a hillside, and plaintiffs John and Judith Bedrossian and Beatriz and Joseph Horacek say they “are in constant fear of the hillside collapsing” due to the changes Hadid has made to the property.

They say the estate he built at 901 Strada Vecchia bears zero resemblance to the project that was permitted by the city.

The Los Angeles city attorney made the same argument when it filed misdemeanor charges against Hadid in 2015. The city attorney was successful, but Hadid’s sentence involved fines and community service—not the demolition of the structure he built.

The lawsuit filed last week in Los Angeles Superior Court says out the majority of the house should have been demolished already. It cites a 2015 order from the city’s building and safety department giving Hadid two weeks to demolish all of the unpermitted parts of his project—and since the structure was taller and bigger than its permits allow, with elements that were never approved by the city, that would basically amount to tearing the whole thing down, the plaintiffs argue.

The spec mansion’s long, dramatic history began in 2014, when the city revoked permits and ordered work to stop after inspectors found a host of unapproved additions to the property, including a full story below the basement level and an additional pool. But construction continued anyway.